Excited about but unsure what the status is? 😅

Want to help but unsure how? 🤔

Wondering what's separating us from having a fediverse of forges? 🤓

How do we, the free software community, stop depending on proprietary centralized tools and switch over to a free, by-the-people, decentralized hosting and collaboration platform?

I have an idea: Let's start doing biweekly/monthly community meetings! What do you think?

Please vote, and also comment and share your thoughts 😊


@forgefed I've been overstretching myself a lot lately with things to work on, but this is one of the free software projects I'm most excited about, and I definitely want to keep a finger on the pulse and find ways to help out when I have cycles for it

As you asked for my thoughts: sourcehut already exists and works. No need for another solution for an already solved problem.

@musicmatze @forgefed what would you say is left to be done, or what's required, to have sourcehut replace githu8 and the other centralized proprietary forges? Why are so many people still using githu8, or even their own GitLab CE/Gitea server, and how do we as a community switch everyone to sourcehut instances?

@fr33domlover @musicmatze Sourcehut seems to require an E-Mail server: Configuring and maintaining one is something I wouldn’t recommend to most people. Gitea is far easier to set up. Edit one config file and you’re done.


@tastytea @forgefed @musicmatze Pretending to be email's advocate for a moment, why would you not recommend to most people to run their own email server?

That's a big issue for decentralization, if people can't reliably run their own email servers.

What about stuff like , does that make it reasonably easy for people to run their own email server?

@fr33domlover Because you have to set up a bunch of additional stuff to not get blocked by gmail (Mail-in-a-Box seems to do that automatically) and you will get blocked by Microsoft (Not just their own domains, also the domains they manage for their corporate customers) and you can’t do anything about it.

The website says that it is not a goal to “make something customizable by power users”, so I’m not sure it can be configured for sourcehut?

So, if you don’t need to talk to Microsoft customers Mail-in-a-Box could work. If you don’t want to / can’t use Mail-in-a-Box you have to configure an SMTP server, IMAP-server, SPF, DKIM, DMARC, a spam filter and you have to make them all work together. And if you make a mistake, it could be taken advantage of by spammers.

@forgefed @musicmatze

@tastytea @forgefed @musicmatze thanks for adding these details. I wonder what the sourcehut people would think about it. It's out of scope, off-topic for the ForgeFed discussion, but I guess it won't hurt to check.

Why would m$ block your email server? How do they detect which server is worthy of their trust etc.? I guess this may be an issue if a mailing list has a member whose email address is hosted by m$...

@ddevault @emersion what would you say about the ease of running-your-own-email-server for a Sourcehut installation?

Not intending to start any holy wars, just curious 🙂

BTW to be fair, I've read about that issue where Mastodon servers tend to block whole instances based on content policies, while Pleroma prefers blocking of individual users, and that caused Mastodon servers to entirely block Pleroma instances.... so I guess the Fediverse has issues too.

@fr33domlover Microsoft blocks most VPSs. I guess they just have all IP ranges of Hetzner, OVH, Linode, … on their blocklist. And they don't react to unblock-requests.

@forgefed @musicmatze

@tastytea @forgefed @fr33domlover I would say that's a bonus for most, but that's just the little devil in me.

@musicmatze @forgefed and what should people use instead? Will githu8 users just find intuitively on Sourcehut everything they expect? Will they know how to submit patches, open issues, etc. etc.?

Otherwise you also need to educate them.

What is the social reason githu8 is still in use?

Since Sourcehut can't federate with any other forge AFAIK, it would suddenly become the only forge software of the federated network... are there docs for other forges to implement federation with Sourcehut?

Is there a list of Sourcehut instances that people can join?

Does the UI allow people to interact with remote repos and users?

Idk the answers and not inplying any, just asking that seems important to me :P

@fr33domlover @forgefed

> just find intuitively on Sourcehut everything they expect?


> Will they know how to submit [...]?


Reason is that #shithub educated them a really bad and messy workflow, nothing clean and _git_ tailored.

> Since Sourcehut can't federate

False. Email is federated and so is git. #sourcehut is just a UI for those two.

@musicmatze @forgefed

What makes the githu8 workflow bad and messy? Not taking a side, just asking. Side note and nice reminder for ourselves, the workflow needs to be ultimately _human_ tailored.

And that "false" there - It seems you have a strong opinion about git & email & how they should be used? I respect that, but can we still look at the facts with honesty?

I mean, the fact is, Sourcehut doesn't federate with most other forges, and they don't federate with Sourcehut. Because most forge websites seem to be Gitea and GitLab, which don't federate, with any protocol. So I just mean, if we want to switch to email based federation with a web UI like Sourcehut's, we need to either implement this federation in more web forges, or decide it's going to be a Sourcehut-only federation (kind of like a Postfix-only email federation or a Mastodon-only short-text-message federation). No sidrbtakrn, jist pointingbthis out. What is our vision? ^_^

@musicmatze @forgefed

Whoops, *no side taken, pointing out

Yeah, git federates via email just fine, but, e.g. can users from,, etc. etc. use the web UI to open issues on each other's projects? Comment? Submit patches? etc. etc.

They can't, they don't inter-operate. At least so far. That's what I mean by no federation.

@fr33domlover @musicmatze People can use email to communicate to sourcehut. Sourcehut can't do that backwards though since all other forges are locked-in into their UIs and private protocols.

There's no web UI from other forges to sourcehut and there's no need for it, because this would require people to register on at least one of forges to contribute, whereas with the current approach you only need an email address.

@forgefed I think ForgeFed's goal is very important, but ForgeFed as it is imagined right now might not be the best way to reach it:

What do you think? 🤔
To me this article makes a fair point and I wondered if you had counter-arguments to this or if you just hadn't though about it this way

@thomaskuntzz @forgefed yeah, people keep asking this all the time. We had some article about this somewhere but I don't remember where 😅

The bottom line is: Email is common, familiar to many people/devs, has implementations, already supported by git and other VCSs. But email also has a UI problem (the message text is usually the UI, if it's not HTML then it's probably plain text) and it's not obvious how to integrate different servers/services/implementations using it. And almost everyone uses gmai1, it seems (I don't think I know anyone in-person who doesn't).

#ActivityPub is new and evolving, but it uses RDF, flexible structured data, clearly separating between the plain data and the UI. It gives a chance to utilize the state-of-the-art security and privacy related practices between all communicating parties, to create an evolving vocabulary supporting a variety of application types, and to have them all communicate.

I'm not saying either is better than the other, just providing a potential way for Gitea, GitLab, etc. etc. to federate.

@thomaskuntzz @forgefed I do suspect though, that there's some underlying problem about the email approach.

Some people say email is perfect for this job, and the only missing part is good UI. And they may be right.

But I wonder, why no such UI exists, despite the long time email has been around. And I wonder, what if the problem is that on the bottom line, computers exist to serve us, and we people simply want convenient UIs that are easy to use and communicate well with us. And advanced devs tend to use advanced tools whose UIs don't work for the general population, such as the Mutt email client... and having all their tech knowledge, they can't see anymore, why people keep preferring shiny web UIs over email.

It's really simple, folks. It's because typing plain text into a textbox is way, way less friendly than dedicated buttons and widgets. The plain text stuff requires the user to do more technical thinking.

For email to compete with ActivityPub on UI, ML servers / MUAs would need to start having UI for interacting with the variety of possible email attachment file media types...

@forgefed I'm interested in hearing more about this, especially as one of the folks working on Pagure. I'm looking forward to seeing Pagure+ForgeFed!

@musicmatze by that reasoning, a user of gitlab pagure gogs or _whatever_ else, would be just as justtified to the same statement about their favorite

that is a different problem, which no single forge can solve alone - what is needed, is a way for people to use their favorite forge (ideally the one running on their own computer); yet be able to communicate with other people's forges, without running anyone else's software - that is the problem which forge-fed is addressing: "inter-operability"

@tok -

most of the popular forges are aware of forge-fed, and have open tickets on their bug trackers now, WRT forge-fed integration - several participated in the exploratory discussions in 2018, as is noted on the README

i agree that it may be helpful to invite them to join these new discussions; but that wouid not be because they are not yet interested - it would be because they dont toot

are any of the forge devs knoen to toot? - i dunno

@forgefed Or you could just post on fedi what the status is. Because it's an ActivityPub project anyway, so where better to keep us updated?

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